Shortte, Peter, Zoe, Stephen and Rijn during Rijn's story about Jackson.

Shortte, Peter, Zoe, Stephen and Rijn during Rijn’s story about Jackson. All photos by Matt Murphy. Thanks, Matt.

Stereo Stories kept the audience smiling, and often quietly laughing, during its 45 minute bracket at the Newport Folk Festival on Sunday 5 July.

After opening with the dark tension of State Trooper we lightened up with Before Too Long, Smokie Dawson’s tale of teenage love and a deal-breaking Paul Kelly song.

Hugh Jones’ humourous story about interviewing Don McLean many years ago included exquisite vocals from Peter Maskell, as he sang snippets of Killing Me Softly and Vincent.

Rijn Collins then took us on a tour of Jackson and surrounding counties while The Stereo Stories Band channelled Johnny Cash and June Carter.

Born In Chicago saw the Stereo Stories debut of  Wangaratta bluesman Luke R Davies, blowing a mean harp while telling us about his early days as a musician in the western suburbs of Sydney.

Our finale, Senses Working Overtime,  took us to Canberra, via Zoe Krupka’s memories of her first summer in Australia – in 1982.

The Stereo Stories Band once again weaved the music through the stories to create the compelling combination of story and song, of music and memoir: Anthony Shortte on percussion; Jack Gramski on vocals and guitar, Stephen Andrew on vocals, guitars and bass; Peter Maskell on vocals and guitar; and Zoe Krupka on vocals  for Jackson.

We took the chance to enjoy quite a few of the festival’s performers, including  regulars Paisley and Plaid, The Tall Boys, The Angelicats, Luke R Davies and Liquorice Allsorts. ‘Delighted to see Jack Gramski’s solo set. We were also taken by newcomers The Peeks, a young Williamstown band, and DIDIRRI, a gentle evocative duo from Victoria University.  And we wish we could have seen The Mercurials, Co-cheol, Nick Charles and Sunny and Cloudy, and others – but, alas, you can’t be in two places at the same time.

Many thanks to the Newport Folk Festival committee and volunteers, especially wrangler Chris Phillips, sound gurus Don and Andrew, and photographer Matt Murphy.

Our next gig is a 90 minute show at Victoria University on Thursday, 30 July, 7pm. Venue is the VU Bar in Building M on the Footscray Park Campus, Ballarat Road. We’ll be introducing a few new stories. Hope to see you there.

Jack and Vin opening with Strate Trooper

Jack and Vin opening with State Trooper.

A quick bow from Rijn, Peter, Luke, Smokie, Zoe and Vin. Shortte and Jack are obscured and Stephen's offstage!

A quick bow from Rijn, Peter, Luke, Smokie, Zoe and Vin. Shortte and Jack are obscured and Stephen’s offstage!


Editor: Vin Maskell Assistant editor: Louise Maskell Web legend: James Demetrie, of DISKMANdotNET